Cultural differences in speed adaptation in human-robot interaction tasks

Fabio Vannucci 1 , Alessandra Sciutti 2 , Hagen Lehman 3 , Giulio Sandini 4 , Yukie Nagai 5 ,  and Francesco Rea 6
  • 1 DIBRIS, Università di Genova, Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, , Italy
  • 2 COgNiTive Architecture for Collaborative Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy
  • 3 Università degli Studi di Macerata, , Italy
  • 4 Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, , Italy
  • 5 International Research Center for Neurointelligence, The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 6 Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, , Italy

Abstract

In social interactions, human movement is a rich source of information for all those who take part in the collaboration. In fact, a variety of intuitive messages are communicated through motion and continuously inform the partners about the future unfolding of the actions. A similar exchange of implicit information could support movement coordination in the context of Human-Robot Interaction. In this work, we investigate how implicit signaling in an interaction with a humanoid robot can lead to emergent coordination in the form of automatic speed adaptation. In particular, we assess whether different cultures – specifically Japanese and Italian – have a different impact on motor resonance and synchronization in HRI. Japanese people show a higher general acceptance toward robots when compared with Western cultures. Since acceptance, or better affiliation, is tightly connected to imitation and mimicry, we hypothesize a higher degree of speed imitation for Japanese participants when compared to Italians. In the experimental studies undertaken both in Japan and Italy, we observe that cultural differences do not impact on the natural predisposition of subjects to adapt to the robot.

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Paladyn. Journal of Behavioral Robotics is a fully peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original, high-quality research works and review articles on topics broadly related to neuronally and psychologically inspired robots and other behaving autonomous systems. The journal is indexed in SCOPUS.

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